Wizard of Oz Storytime Ideas

L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz, was born on May 15th, 1856.  In celebration of his birthday, our library (and libraries across the state of Kansas) will be holding special library events during the month of May. 

We will – of course – be planning a special ‘Wizard of Oz’ storytime as well!

BOOKS

There is a wonderful new (pub. 2013)  ‘Oz’ series out for young children, with four books in total – Colors, ABCs, Shapes, & Counting.  The illustrations are bright and cheerful, and are accompanied by simple rhyming text.  These are a nice introduction to the Wizard of Oz characters, and will appeal to children who are unfamiliar with the story.  And they also teach ABCs, numbers, colors and shapes in a fun and memorable way!  They are available in board book format, as well as library binding (a larger, hardback book) that would work well as a read aloud for storytime.

The Road to Oz: Twists, Turns, Bumps, and Triumphs in the Life of L. Frank Baum is the first Baum picture book biography for kids.  Filled with bright illustrations and interesting facts, this is a perfect introduction to Baum’s life.  You even meet the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and other characters from Oz along the way!  While slightly too long to read in its entirety to toddlers and preschoolers, choosing selections from this book (combined with the great illustrations) make it a good choice for storytime.

STORYTELLING

The St. Louis Public Library has a very useful Wonderful Wizard of Oz Education Manual that includes an interactive, short version of the story (this version is based on the book, not the movie!)  The one-page story includes seven “buzz-words” to which children perform a certain action.  For example, whenever you say ‘Toto,” children say “Ruff Ruff.”  When you say “Lion,” children let out a “Roar!” …and so on.  Perfect for storytime!

Wizard of Oz Education Manual

The Education Manual also includes a short biography of Baum, lesson plans, and craft ideas.

FLANNEL BOARD

Make a flannel board to use as a visual while telling the story!  The flannel board could also be used to introduce children to the characters, or to use for free play after storytime has ended.  I purchased the clipart pack for this flannel board from Jessica Weible/JW Illustrations, because the graphics were just so cute!IMG_20140127_110409_051

Clipart pack from Jessica Weible/JW Illustrations

If you prefer free, MakingLearningFun.com has a nice set of templates that can be printed in black & white or in color.

RETELLING GAME

After you have finished telling the story, you can play a “retelling game” and retell the story as a group using these adorable cards from The First Grade Parade (free printable!)

Picture Credit: The First Grade Parade

RHYMES & SONGS

The Floppy Scarecrow

The floppy, floppy Scarecrow
Guards his field all day.
He waves his floppy _______.  (hands, feet, head, arms, legs, etc.)
To scare the crows away!

The Merry Old Land of Oz/Touch Your Nose
Merry Old Land of Oz MP3 – Instrumental Only.
Merry Old Land of Oz MP3 – With Words.

Start by singing the beginning of “The Merry Old Land of Oz”…..

Ha ha ha, Ho ho ho
And a couple of tra la las
That’s how we laugh the day away
In the merry old land of Oz

Bzz, bzz, bzz, Chirp, chirp, chirp
And a couple of La di das
That’s how the crickets crick all day
In the merry old land of Oz

Then continue with the same tune, singing……

Touch your nose. Touch your chin.
That’s the way this game begins.
Touch your eyes. Touch your knees.
Now pretend you’re going to sneeze (A-choo!).

Touch your hair.  Touch one ear.
Touch your two red lips right here.
Touch your elbow where it ends.
That’s the way this touch game ends!

Credit: Library Village

We’re Off to See the Wizard
MP3 – from the album ‘Ultimate Children’s Soundtracks’
This would be a good one to play as children enter storytime!

If I Only Had a Brain
MP3 – from the album ‘Goin’ Quackers!’
Goofy sings this version. ☺ Have children pretend to be scarecrows. “Shake our your hands, arms, legs, feet.  See if you can make all of your muscles go floppy, and then try to walk.”

You can repeat with with If I Only Had a Heart, and have children try to walk like a Tin Man.  “The Tin Man has very stiff joints; try to walk without moving your neck, shoulders, elbows, or knees!  Now, have a friend oil your elbows (knees, shoulders, neck, etc) to loosen it.  Continue until all your joints are loose.”

For If I Only Had the Nerve, have children pretend to be the cowardly lion.  “Lions are big and strong, but the cowardly lion is afraid.  Let’s start by roaring quietly, and then as he gains courage, stand tall and roar loudly!”

Ding Dong The Witch is Dead
MP3 – from the album ‘Drew’s Famous Kids Halloween Party Music’
To end storytime, have children march with rhythm sticks or colorful scarves to this song.

SNACKS

Here are a few easy, storytime-friendly snacks…..

Glenda Wand-wiches
Credit: from Cakes to Crossfit

Make sure to use a peanut-free spread!

OZ Sandwiches
Use Letter Z and round cookie cutters to make OZ-some treats!
Credit: Catch My Party

Easy to make with cookies and kisses!

Wicked Witch Hats
Credit: Betty Crocker

MORE IDEAS ON OUR PINTEREST BOARD…..

We’ve pinned over 100 fun ideas for crafts, snacks, games and more!  Go crazy!

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